Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Ferozepur seat, Congress has a queue, SAD looks beyond Ghubaya
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In the Ferozepur parliamentary constituecny, the Akali Dal has a tough task at hand to replace its sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya with a formidable candidate, besides challenging the opposition Congress to defend its citadel.
The Ferozepur Lok Sabha constituency has been a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) citadel for 25 years now, but its sitting two-time MP Sher Singh Ghubaya is a rebel this time and the party is looking for replacement. However, Ghubaya, who is trying to bag the Congress ticket and exploring other options as well, will fight the elections as an independent if that doesn’t materialise. He comes from the Rai Sikh community which is a dominant vote bank in the segment.
“I have devoted my life to the people of my constituency, especially the poor. I will contest for sure,” said Ghubaya. He has reportedly already met the Congress high command over the issue. His son is already a Congress MLA from Fazilka.
Options before the Congress
However, the Congress has a long queue of aspirants, including sitting Guru Harsahai MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi; Bhai Rahul Singh, who was appointed a PPSC member by the previous Akali-BJP regime before he switched over to the Congress; and Gidderbaha MLA Raja Warring.
Sodhi had sought the ticket last time too, but the party fielded Sunil Jakhar, who lost to Ghubaya. Since Jakhar is set to contest from Gurdaspur, the seat he currently represents, Sodhi’s chances of getting the ticket have brightened.
Two young leaders — Bhai Rahul Singh and Raja Warring — are pinning their hopes on party president Rahul Gandhi.
“I am young and Rahul ji is looking for young faces,” said Bhai Rahul, who claimed to have the “blessings” of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and party’s Punjab chief Sunil Jakhar. “Many Akali councillors will be joining me if I get the Congress ticket. I promise I will convert at least 5,000 Akali supporters to the Congress fold in Muktsar city alone”.
Akalis without Ghubaya
Since sitting MP Ghubaya is not an option for the Akali Dal, the party is looking for a strong contender amid the buzz that it could even field the two-time sitting Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal from here.
The next option for the SAD is long-time Badals’ loyalist Janmeja Singh Sekhon, who has been a two-time MLA from Ferozepur Cantonment (1997 and 2007).
Akali leader Vardev Singh Nonni Mann — the son of three-time MP the late Zora Singh Mann — is also among the ticket-seekers. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 assembly polls from Guru Harsahai, losing to Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi of the Congress.